New microbrewery fermenting in El Dorado

B.J. Hunt of Wichita and Rick Goehring of El Dorado hope their Walnut River Brewing Co. can begin making beer for the public in a few weeks, pending all local, state and federal licensing. Ideally, they’d like to begin distribution to the public in about 60 to 90 days. I’m no beer expert like Goehring, who is Walnut River’s head brewer, but I liked what I tasted of Walnut River’s half-dozen samples last week. I particularly liked one style, California common, which Hunt and Goehring expect to be one of their staples at local bars. The beers don’t have names yet. Hunt and Goehring are a hoot to talk with — seemingly ideal personalities for the industry. Family guys with day jobs, they hope some day to be able to give up those positions and go into the beer business full time. All their work on their building and the beer occurs now on nights and weekends. There’s a bar top in their building that’s a half log of a white oak from Kanopolis Lake. Friends and family who have tried the beer sign the surface. I expect many more names will show up after Walnut River gets licensed to formerly begin producing and selling. Hunt jokes, “If somebody bad-mouths us, we could take some 60-grit (sandpaper)” to their name.

John Stearns
Wichita Business Journal